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Wine, Retirement … and Cremation? Baby Boomer Expo Offers Advice On The Inevitable

February 22, 2010

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Wine, Retirement … and Cremation? Baby Boomer Expo Offers Advice On The Inevitable

imageApparently, the grim reaper is part of the baby boomer lifestyle.

He hovered over the Baby Boomer Lifestyle Expo in Portland over the weekend, a none-too-subtle reminder of mortality at a gathering aimed at the eternally youthful.

Along with vendors peddling wine, retirement centers, retirement planning, home remodeling, replacement windows, mobility devices and chiropractic care, there were also a couple of cremation services at the Portland Expo Center.

“This is definitely one of our target markets,” said Michael Remsing, co-owner of Crown Memorial Centers, which offers cremation and burial services. “These are folks who are getting up there who are thinking it’s time to make these plans.”

If you’re a boomer, you were born between the late 1940s and the early ’60s, and that means you’re no spring chicken.

Dana Weintraub is taking heed. He stopped by Remsing’s booth Sunday so he could start planning for the ever after. Many baby boomers are not planning ahead, Weintraub said. But he’s 49, looking at 50, and he doesn’t want to wait around for someone else to take care of his funeral arrangements.

“I want to do it now because I don’t want to leave it up to my niece,” said Weintraub, who lives in Beaverton. “So when the time comes, all they have to do is shove me in the ground and that’s it.”

Weintraub wants a funeral and a burial. But many boomers are opting for cremations, said Richard Nicholson, a sales manager for Neptune Cremation Service.

“They don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a traditional funeral,” Nicholson said.

Cremations are on the rise nationally, according to the Cremation Association of North America, jumping from 6 percent in 1973 to more than 33 percent in 2006.

Rory Fuller has already decided he wants to be cremated. Fuller is 61 and lives in Gladstone. He can’t see spending thousands of dollars for a burial and gravestone.

He was happy to see Remsing’s booth at the expo, an event that was co-sponsored by The Oregonian. It was a good reminder, he said, for those who are unwilling to face the inevitable.

“In my younger years, I thought it was morbid to think about,” Fuller said. “I don’t find it morbid at all anymore.”

Article By: Stephen Beaven